Swedish Gripen fighters can get a new navigation system
STOCKHOLM, ($1=8.75 Swedish Kronas) – The Swedish company Saab plans to offer the Gripen aircraft operator an updated navigation function to work in the face of threats that disrupt the operation of systems due to GPS jamming, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express. So far, all GNSS-free navigation capabilities have been offered to Finland under the Saab HX program.
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“For many years, the main solution has been global navigation satellite systems [GNSS] and, more often than not, GPS,” says Gripen test pilot Jonas Jakobsson.
However, serious obstacles to GPS have been observed during large-scale military exercises in Scandinavia, and minor disruptions can also be caused by natural phenomena such as solar flares. At the same time, Jacobsson notes that because the Air Force requires the highest level of navigation and guidance accuracy, Saab will try to find another solution for its aircraft.
The solutions offered by Saab should combine input from the current Ternav navigation system, real-time odometry images from the camera, and a three-dimensional cartographic model of the surface provided by Maxar Technologies through a sensor fusion base.
According to the company, this will provide greater positioning accuracy than the use of traditional inertial measuring devices. It is noted that in 2018 Saab and Maxar conducted flight tests of Gripen using a camera in a container to assess the potential of such a system, and in 2020 this work was expanded to real-time processing using a Gripen E / F demonstration aircraft.
It is said that the tests were successful – and additional flight tests can be conducted in about a year.
Swedes tested a 3D printed element on Gripen
On March 19 this year, in the sky over Linköping, Saab Gripen conducted a successful flight test with an aircraft that has been “repaired” by a printed 3D external component.
The test’s purpose was to check the printed component’s resistance to cold temperatures, high altitudes and determine its degree of flexibility. So far, the Swedes have used 3D printed components, but only for the interior and interior of a Gripen fighter.
Saab is trying to find a solution to quickly, cheaply, and efficiently be a “repaired” fighter during combat operations without requiring a large repair team. The company says they did not have a computer model of the component, so it had to be downloaded, scanned, and printed.
The printed component on the 3D printer is the hatch part of the fighter’s outer shell. SAAB used a nylon polymer of type PA2200 for printing.
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